There were only about 30 Amur Leopards in the world back in 2007. The World Wildlife Foundation now reports there are 57 (possibly up to 69) known Amur Leopards. Everybody is cheering, but…there are still less than 70 Amur Leopards left in the whole world.
What is an Amur Leopard? Well, for starters, they’re not Amur Tigers (which are also rare), and they look like this:
The leopards in the above video were filmed in captivity. Here’s a WWF UK video that shows some in the wild and also gives you a broader idea of the efforts that have doubled their numbers in seven years. (Disclosure: I’m not a WWF or Big Cat Rescue member and don’t recommend anything one way or the other about supporting these organizations or the Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance URL given at the end of the BCR video – they just do good work and post videos on YouTube that are worth sharing.)
And, jeez…there are less than 70 Amur Leopards in the world. The success is that they might have gone extinct by now. Much more needs to be done, though.
Why should we care? Well, I think this hillside would look awfully bare without those two Amur Leopards (hidden-camera footage posted by the WWF). There should always be such things in the wild, even if we never see them:
There must be a workable, long-lasting balance we can achieve between them and us.
And there are benefits for humans, too. Going by the above videos, forest fire frequency has been reduced, and local people are compensated for livestock losses. Too, Russia and China are working together peacefully. Life on this planet really is sometimes like a web. What benefits one species benefits others; equally true, when one species goes extinct, we all lose something precious.
Let’s hope that there are at least 140 Amur Leopards in existence by 2021!
Categories: Friday's Casual Cat